Wednesday, December 31, 2008


beta waves

photo credit : peiqianlong

What are Beta Waves?

When you are fully awake and alert,  your brain generates beta waves. Conscious thinking; analyzing, planning, solving equations, balancing accounting sheets, writing articles, designing a house and all thinking done when you are fully awake and alert generates beta waves in your brain.

The frequency of beta waves range from 13hz to 38hz. Audible frequencies range from 20hz to 20000hz but some people can hear sounds down to 16hz. If the beta waves that fall within this range are strong enough, we would be able to hear them but the signals are so small that it would be far from audible to the human ear.

Below is a beta wave illustration taken from an EEG(electroencephalograph). It depicts the highs and lows of beta waves for a duration of 1 second.

beta waves
photo credit : Hgamboa

This brainwave pattern indicates that there are more highs and lows for a given time period compared to the alpha, delta and theta states. There is also another set of brainwave frequencies higher than beta called the gamma waves which have higher frequencies or highs and lows.

Different frequencies within the beta frequency range are associated with different states of mind. There are those which can increase your focus and attention, those which can increase stress, those which can make you agitated, and many other. There are many techniques to entrain the brain to a particular frequency and make it dominant making the body follow along the characteristics of the specific brainwave frequency: be it releasing hormones, twitching muscles, intensity of concentration, etc..

Isochronic tones, binaural beats and monaural beats are some techniques used for brainwave entrainment. Of the three techniques mentioned, isochronic tones were able to achieve better results.

The beta state is where you interact with the physical world. It's the pattern of your brainwaves when you are jogging, making decisions, or just plain thinking when you are awake.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Types of Brainwaves

Brainwaves are produced by our brains in whatever state of consciousness we are in: waking, sleeping, daydreaming, solving mathematical equations, dancing, singing, etc.. These brainwaves are measurable as electrical signals using a device called EEG (electroencephalogram).

There are four types of brainwaves and they differ in frequency ranges. The table below illustrates the brainwave types, the frequency range and a brief description.

BETA 13hz-38hz This occurs when we are fully awake. 2-20microvolts
ALPHA 8hz-13hz Occurs when you are relaxed and not doing any major mental work. 20-60microvolts
THETA 4hz-8hz Light sleep 20-100microvolts
DELTA 0.5hz-4hz Deep sleep. 20-200microvolts

The frequency range tells us how many times a brainwave pulses in 1 second expressed in hertz (hz). The fully awake state(beta) has the highest frequency range and gets slower as it goes to the sleep state (delta). As the frequency goes lower the amplitude or strength of the pulses goes higher.

The voltage levels (amplitude) are so small that they are measured in microvolts (millionths of a volt).

BETA beta waves
ALPHA alpha waves
THETA  theta waves
DELTA  delta waves

The waveforms presented above are uniform in shape for simplicity and does not represent the actual pattern as seen from an electroencephalograph as shown below.

brain waves eeg

Dominant Brainwaves

When we are in the waking state or fully awake, we are in beta but it does not mean that there are no activities from the the other wave types. It's just the beta brainwaves are dominant and the rest have small signals or little activity. Likewise if you are in the alpha state, the dominant brainwave pattern is the alpha type while the rest are somewhat in the background but still performing the necessary functions for our body.

Isochronic Tones

Using isochronic tones, we can selectively make certain brainwaves dominant. Some frequencies enhance our focus and concentration while some silence our conscious murmurs, and bring us to a meditative state.

Only a few minutes of listening to an isochronic tone can bring us to a desired state. A meditative state can be achieved much faster, memory can be improved, sleep much better, etc.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Isochronic comes from two words "iso" meaning equal and "chrono" which relates to time. From that we can gather that isochronic tones are sounds  that occur at intervals equal to the duration of the tone. For example if a guitar string is plucked and is muted after 5 seconds then plucked again after 5 seconds  and is done repeatedly - you'll hear an isochronic tone. You hear the tone for 5 seconds then you hear it again after 5 seconds. Here's a visual representation:

isochronic tones

Think of the wavy pattern as a tone and the horizontal line as the interval. The duration of the tone and the interval are equal. That's an isochronic tone which has been used for brainwave entrainment.


Our brains generate different brainwave frequencies at different levels of consciousness. Brainwave frequencies  during sleep are different from brainwave frequencies occuring while we are fully awake. Using isochronic tones, our brain can be entrained to a specific brainwave frequency in a short period of time harnessing the benefits that the specific brainwave frequency brings.